Nurses aren’t just meant for hospital work, as they have plenty of career options to choose from now. Spending time and money to prepare for nursing school opens a wide variety of opportunities, which can help you recover your investment even without the need of pursuing a job at the hospital. Here are five non-hospital jobs you should consider.

1. Cruise Ship Nurse

This position provides many registered nurses the benefit of work and travel at the same time. Working as a health care provider on an ocean liner definitely has some similarities and differences with those of land-based jobs. Like most hospitals or clinics, you would need to have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, but nurses who have earned their master’s degree are given priority.

Those who aspire to work on board would need to have their registered license of course and certifications for both Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ASL).

Below are the expected skills of a cruise ship nurse:

  • Organizational skills for document sorting
  • The ability to stay calm under pressure
  • Critical thinking
  • Excellent communication skills with a pleasing personality
  • Good problem-solving skills
  • Must be emotionally stable at all times

Employers hire those who have at least two to three years of working experience, preferably in emergency or acute care. Since you will be working with a small staff and limited supply, these responsibilities will be divided between each personnel:

  • Direct patient care (from first aid to a serious medical case)
  • Oversee proper patient documentation
  • Provide first aid training
  • Assist in staff drug testing
  • Conduct lifeboat safety drills
  • Check and restock medical inventory
  • Accompany patients or evacuees to land facilities via small boat or helicopter

Typical schedules would be 10 to 12-hour shifts with one day off (on rotation) and a high possibility of on-call situations. The contract presented to nurses would run a minimum of 6 months to 1 year depending on the cruise line and the salary offer would be around $3,000 to $5,000 per month.

Some pros for this job include: all-expense paid travel, large workloads earning better experience, and great for those who settle for short-term and recurring contracts.

However, the cons of this job would be the very strict and competitive market (e.g., employers preferring nurses with bilingual skills or work experiences in multicultural settings), small salary rate, and having to be away from loved ones, especially those who are tied with responsibilities at home.

2. Nurse Coach

Are you considered a great influencer? Then being a health coach might be the perfect career for you! A lot of companies (including insurance firms) hire these nurses to assist employees (especially those with chronic diseases) with achieving their health goals.

Nurses who have a BSN are qualified to apply for this job, but note that a master’s is preferred for this role as well. You can be board-certified as a nurse coach (NC-BC), a holistic nurse coach (HN-BC), or a health and wellness nurse coach (HWNC-BC). The American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation is the agency that administers the certifications. To learn more, visit ahncc.org.

Here are the skills that are expected for this particular career path:

  • Must be confident
  • Exercises self-control at all times
  • Very patient and understanding
  • Must have knowledge regarding lifestyle-related topics and chronic diseases
  • Must be optimistic
  • Excellent communication skills and influence
  • Excellent personnel management
  • Must be willing to cooperate and collaborate with the client
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Must have initiative

Employers expect each health coach to work closely with their clients and make sure that each responsibility is met:

  • Empower patients with chronic illnesses to live a healthy lifestyle
  • Teach proper health care to avoid further medical complications
  • Help client realize health goals and construct a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-based) plan to achieve it
  • Conduct health-related wellness seminars and training

There are many pros to this career, such as a possible salary of $66,000 per year, the benefit of working with diverse personalities, and a wide range of employers.

Personal stress, uncontrollable shifts (on-call situations), and unruly clients/patients could be some of the cons to this job. However, you should always have yourself ready for these can be present in any work environment.

3. Insurance Firm Nurse

If you have a knack for organizing documents, interviewing clients, and resolving complaints, then you might want to consider working for an insurance firm.

Of course, aspirants would need to have a BSN or MSN degree and a RN license to practice. On top of that, a minimum of 2 years work experience is needed.

An insurance firm expects that every candidate possesses these skills:

  • Organizational skills, such as documentation and bookkeeping
  • Problem-solving skills for case handling
  • A keen eye for analytical situations
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Good personnel management

In this field, multiple positions are available for both LPNs and RNs, such as:

LPN available positions

  • Appeals Nurse Associate: handles member appeals and resolves complaints and grievances.
  • Health Coach Associate: works with the employees of an organization where health challenges are identified to create wellness campaigns and incentive programs to reduce member complaints.
  • Quality Management Nurse Associate: conducts interviews and reviews along with health care providers to promote the highest quality of medical procedures and outcomes.

RN available positions

  • Health Coach Consultant: manages lower level associates and conducts campaigns for both organizations and facilities to improve overall performances for companies or hospitals.
  • Nurse Educators: educates patients on an academic level regarding selected medical professionals as well as appropriate medical treatment. This is only for rerouting and no medical advice can be provided by these nurses.

With the diverse tasks given out to nurses who work in an insurance firm, they are able to earn as much as $80,000 per year.

The pros of this career include being home-based work wherein they can just appear in the office for about 2 to 3 times a week, which leads to another pro: more family time!

A disadvantage is that it is more clerical than medical and if needed, you might be called to work in out-of-state field cases.

4. Medical Sales Representative

This field needs nurses who have very influential vocabularies and can close sales. If you think you can turn a hard “no” into a graceful “yes,” then being a “med rep” is the job suited for you!

It doesn’t strictly need a bachelor’s degree in the medical field, but one requirement is that your degree is health care, life science, or marketing-related. You should also consider becoming certified, which you can apply for with the National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives (NAPSR).

To be a successful sales representative, these skills are must-haves:

  • Pleasing personality
  • Well-versed and influential
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Knowledgeable about medical updates, especially in the field of technology and treatments
  • Have a keen eye for analytical situations
  • Organizational skills for document preservation and revision

This field is very competitive and challenging because of the following responsibilities:

  • Establish and maintain relationships with possible clients
  • Provide newly developed samples of medicinal products or equipment
  • Document and organize the records of all established contacts
  • Monitor and analyze competitor’s products and actions
  • Appointment setting with clients with a well-presented discussion of new products

Of course, with every difficult task and every sweet “yes,” sales reps are rewarded with a high salary that could reach up to almost $96,000 PLUS a bonus or incentive for each sale that one makes. Based on a 2017 salary report, the average overall compensation for a sales rep reached up to a whopping $147,424. Hard work definitely pays off!

Building connections with suppliers as well as creating ties with clinical offices that could possibly be the next workplace are just some of the pros of this job. Don’t forget the high salary and incentive!

However, the price comes with a demanding workload and honesty. Even the best salesman still gets a “no” from time to time so expect that another con would be the days without commissions.

5. Parish Nurse

This field is a combination of tasks that are present in both health coaching and insurance firm nurses. This focuses on a more holistic approach to a person’s health.

To enter this career, applicants would need to have a BSN or MSN degree. A nursing license registered in the same state as that of the parish is required along with 3 to 5 years of nursing experience.

Some parishes also require that candidates undergo theological classes, which could run for about 1 to 2 weeks.

Here are the skills needed for this role:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Pleasing personality
  • Familiar with spiritual and cultural activities
  • Ability to refer patients to other medical professionals
  • Knowledgeable about nursing practices, medications, tools, and equipment

Responsibilities for parish nurses may include:

  • Personal health counseling to the faith community
  • Training volunteers
  • Assisting in developing support groups
  • Educating the community on self-care and personal first aid
  • Referring patients to medical facilities and professionals for direct treatment

Taking all of the responsibilities into consideration, it comes as no surprise that the salary range for a parish nurse is anywhere from $45,000 up to $92,000 per year, according to Payscale.com.

A few benefits of this career include the perks of working close to home since you will be at your local parish daily and the power to gain complex knowledge that only priests can provide.

On the other end, you will not be providing any direct treatment and there will be instances of out-of-city work that you would need to attend along with the authorities of the parish.

Helping other people is not bound by the white walls of an emergency room or by the great halls of a hospital. These settings certainly allow nurses to further diversify their experiences and gain more knowledge as a basic and holistic health care provider. With this, nurses can definitely expand the use of their medical expertise.

Joanne Nilsson

Joanne Nilsson studied nursing in college but chose to stop to focus on taking care of her young family. She now works as an academic writer to provide for her kids and save for her future studies.

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